1912 United States presidential election
The 1912 United States presidential election was the 32nd quadrennial presidential election. Democratic Governor Woodrow Wilson unseated incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft and defeated former President Theodore Roosevelt. As of 2020, this is the most recent presidential election in which a top two finisher was neither a Democrat nor a Republican. The Socialist Party renominated its perennial standard-bearer, Eugene V. Debs.
About 1912 United States presidential election in brief
The 1912 United States presidential election was the 32nd quadrennial presidential election. Democratic Governor Woodrow Wilson unseated incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft and defeated former President Theodore Roosevelt. As of 2020, this is the most recent presidential election in which a top two finisher was neither a Democrat nor a Republican. The Socialist Party renominated its perennial standard-bearer, Eugene V. Debs. The general election was bitterly contested by Wilson, Roosevelt, and Taft. Wilson took advantage of the Republican split, winning 40 states and a large majority of the electoral vote. Taft carried 23% of the national vote and won two states, Vermont and Utah. He was the first Republican to lose the Northern states. Debs won no electoral votes, but took 6% ofthe popular vote, which remains the highest ever for a Socialist candidate as of 2020. With Wilson’s decisive win, he became the first presidential candidate to receive over 400 electoral votes in a presidential election, and one of just two Democratic presidents to serve between 1861 and 1932. The election was also the first in which every modern mainland state in the union could vote, following the admission of Arizona and New Mexico. The vote was held on Tuesday, November 5, 1912, and the winner was announced the next day. The winner was declared on Wednesday, November 6. The race was a rematch of the 1908 general election, when Taft defeated William Jennings Bryan and Wilson won the Democratic nomination on the 46th ballot.
The Republican Party split into two wings during Taft’s administration: progressives led by Roosevelt and conservatives led by Taft, and Roosevelt ran under the banner of the new Progressive or ‘Bull Moose’ Party. In 1910, the Republicans lost 57 seats in the House of Representatives as the Democrats gained a majority for the first time since 1894. In 1911, a large amount of progressive voters chose conservative Republicans over conservative Republicans, and continued to reject calls to run for president into the year 1911. In 1912, the Democrats won a majority in the U.S. Senate, and in 1912 the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress, but not the White House. The next year, the election was held and Wilson was elected to a second term as governor of New York. The 1912 presidential election took place on November 8, and Wilson’s term ended on November 16, 1913. The first president to serve two terms was Theodore Roosevelt, who served as president from 1901 to 1909 as a Republican, andTaft succeeded him with his support. Roosevelt’s platform called for social insurance programs, reduction to an eight-hour workday, and robust federal regulation of the economy. The party split was deep and Roosevelt began a national tour in which he outlined his progressive philosophy and New Nationalist platform, which he introduced in a speech in August 31, 1910. The split within the party was deep, and by the summer of 1910, Roosevelt turned against Taft against his personal friend, William Allen Allen.